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Usability testing for business success

“Usability really just means making sure that something works well: that a person of average (or even below average) ability and experience can use the thing - whether it's a website, remote control, or revolving door - for its intended purpose without getting hopelessly frustrated.” - Steve Krug

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Usability testing for business

In an article published by Medium, about 79% of visitors will go to another site if they experience difficulty completing a task, while 40% of visitors will never revisit a site they found frustrating or annoying during their first visit.


Usability testing points out specific areas in your software, website, mobile app, or product with which customers have a problem.


Your business could become very successful with usability testing as its foundation, providing valuable insight.


Usability testing is crucial for business growth, and as Susan Dray (Usability and HCI expert) puts it, “If the user can’t use it, it doesn’t work.”


Every business owner should beware of usability testing.

One important aspect of usability testing is user acceptance testing (UAT). A kind of testing done to validate a product, software design, or website against business requirements. Test participants are end-user customers who are familiar with the needs of the business being tested.


UAT is also known as beta or end-user testing, the final testing a product or software will go through.


Why is user acceptance testing important?

User acceptance testing uses live data and users' cases to ensure all requirements are fulfilled before releasing software for market use.


The test is better done before the final product release. Many businesses that have failed to conduct UAT have suffered significant losses due to release issues.


Take, for instance, the Essential smartphone designed by former Android co-founder Andy Rubin. Now discontinued, the Essential smartphone was plagued by poor testing and undermining real-user assessment.


User acceptance testing though similar to usability testing is quite different.


USER ACCEPTANCE VS USABILITY TESTING

UX testing or usability testing involves using real people to test your product in various ways to cancel out assumptions that would harm the business upon release.


UAT or usability acceptance testing is a testing process performed by the client who is familiar with the requirements of the business being tested and will give either his validation or disapproval.


Now take, for instance, a mobile phone. In usability testing, developers would use personas or real test participants to get insights on the phone before release.


The testing could be done to point out things like:

  • The home button returns the screen to the main screen.

  • The top volume button increases the volume, and the bottom volume button reduces it.

  • The power button turns the phone screen or the phone off.

In UAT, developers allow their clients to do the final testing of the phone to point out anything that goes against the agreement of the phone’s design.


The test is to confirm things like:

  • How is its mobility?

  • Is it easily accessible?

  • Does the app library swipe left or right? Up or down?

Neither test can replace the other, but they both have the same aim, which is to improve usability.


Testing cannot be over-emphasized in product designing. It reduces the likelihood of problems developing down the line.


It also reduces the amount of work required to develop and maintain the product. When performed correctly, testing can reduce the overall cost and ensures a higher level of user satisfaction.

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